Naspers owned Olx India, has recently announced that Amarjit Singh Batra, the CEO and founder of the Olx India business, is planning to move to a global role within Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group company.
Batra joined Olx in 2008, at a time when consumer internet businesses in India were at a nascent stage, and the concept of second-hand buying and selling between individuals was almost unknown. Starting out as the first employee of Olx India, he has built the business from scratch to a 550-strong-team today.
Apart from introducing India to selling and buying of pre-owned household items, Batra also led Olx to emerge as a platform for pre-owned cars in the country. Other key categories that thrived under his leadership were that of pre-owned motorcycles and mobile phones. Real estate and jobs are also categories that he built.
At Olx he is known for his innovative approach, implicit understanding of the consumer needs, and a passion for building business solutions that can solve everyday challenges and make the user experience more friction-free. A visionary, he built the company with a mobile-first approach at a time when many other businesses were still focused on desktop. This helped in laying strong foundations for business growth at an early stage. He was also the first in his space to take the decision of experimenting with customised colloquial regional-language television advertising - rather than using dubbed ads for all markets - in order to reach out to a new consumer base.
Martin Scheepbouwer, global CEO, Olx Group, says in a press release, "I started working with Amar five years back when I joined Naspers, and he has impressed me with his entrepreneurial drive, passion, focus and his ability to deliver on big challenges. India is a huge and diverse market, and the way Olx India has shaped up to become an undisputable leader in the horizontal classifieds space is a testimony to Amar's vision, strategy, and execution. What I am most pleased with is the strong leadership team and culture that Amar has built at Olx India, which has laid a solid foundation for taking the company to the next level. I take this opportunity to thank him for the great work and support him on his plans to take up a new challenge. While he will move on, his legacy will live on in the brand, team, and the culture he has built."
We asked Batra if he has quit Olx. He says, "I have not quit, I have decided to move on."
Batra adds, "The Olx journey has been a very special and fulfilling one. Rarely does one get an opportunity as an entrepreneur and a leader to build a brand like Olx and take it from obscurity to a household name. In the almost nine years that I have spent at Olx, I feel I have done the whole nine yards. In these years Olx has emerged as the number one horizontal marketplace outperforming all direct competitors. On the back of a robust and innovative product, we have delivered our strongest year yet. I started out alone in India for almost three years but today I have a team of great leaders who are poised to take the business to even greater heights. I have also spent a lot of time in building a culture that not only keeps the brand mission alive but also makes Olx a great place to work. I feel like I have achieved the mission I took up nine years back, and that the time is opportune to end this leg of the journey and take up a new challenge. Naspers has a wide footprint and several exciting opportunities in emerging markets that I am exploring at the moment."
"The person who will be coming in place of Amar has some big shoes to fill. We are working on the transition, and will be ready to share the successor's name soon," added Scheepbouwer.